James Gilbreath

I was nine years old in a fourth-grade classroom, 1958-59. We had our crayons and Manila paper out drawing. The teacher came to my desk and called the class around. He said he wanted to show us how to create motion in art. He proceeded to draw, on my paper, with my crayons, a man with his hat being blown off his head into the air with leaves flying. I remember thinking, “This is what I want to do.” And from that day until this I have been an artist. 

I was introduced to oil painting in high school during the mid-sixties. From that point on, no matter what phase of life I went through, I always had art supplies, canvases and an easel. I have always had to paint and create art. My work has certainly morphed over the last fifty-plus years as I have learned and grown from experience and other artists. 

In the early years I tried to make my paintings look like photographs.  Until one day I realized, that's an awful lot of work to end up with something I could have achieved in seconds with a camera.  Through some really good artists and teachers I learned to loosen up and not fear bright colors.  I also began to paint mostly with acrylics.  At that point my paintings became more fun to do.  I'm enjoying the process more than I ever thought possible.  Every new painting I begin, becomes the road less traveled, a new adventure into what might be.